Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Crusaders 4 Coagh United 0

Gareth McKeown is already licking his lips at the prospect of dumping his old club Portadown out of this season’s JJB Sports Irish Cup.

The Crues remain firmly on course to defend the trophy, but the Ports will relish the opportunity to embarrass the holders in the quarter-finals.

Crusaders officials had thought they’d lost their grip on the cup on Saturday morning, however, when there was no sign of the trophy following a break-in at Seaview.

Panic set in when it couldn’t be found in the club’s boardroom, but the cup had already been collected to be used at the live draw — which ironically took place at Shamrock Park.

Portadown manager Ronnie McFall will not be relishing a return trip to Seaview as he’s no fan of the Crues’ new 4G playing surface.

“If teams come here and lose they complain about the pitch but if they win we don’t hear anything,” said McKeown. “I don’t expect anything less from Ronnie McFall though.

“We like playing here on a tight pitch and it suits us against teams who want to pass the ball around.

“We still struggle with it at times as it can be dry and sticky. It’s fine for getting the ball down and passing but it’s not so easy to turn quickly on it.

“Turning is the hardest aspect of it but Stephen Baxter says there are boots you can get to cope with that.”

The Ports will now be aiming to inflict a double dose of north Belfast heartbreak after his side saw off the challenge of last year’s beaten finalists Cliftonville on Saturday.

Linfield and Glentoran will go at it in the most attractive quarter-final showdown so the teams that progress to the final four will be glad to see the back of at least one of the Big Two.

“That’s a big incentive for the rest,” added McKeown.

“That’s what happened to us last season when we managed to avoid the Blues and the Glens throughout the competition — it would be nice to do that again.

“We are looking forward to the challenge.”

It took Crusaders 32 minutes to carve open Coagh United at Seaview on Saturday but the second half was mostly one-way traffic with the only pertinent question being how many goals the hosts would score.

Chris Morrow, who now has nine goals this season, showed tremendous composure to evade a few challenges in the penalty box and slot in the opener.

Jordan Owens saw his earlier header rebound off the post and Donnelly stung goalkeeper Johnny Pollock’s hands with two shots.

A minute after the restart the Crues doubled their lead when Morrow rifled the ball into the net from eight yards.

Ross Arthurs, a half-time replacement for David Rainey who suffered a hamstring injury, should have scored.

However, in the 58th minute Donnelly curled the ball into the corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area and Arthurs made it four just past the hour.

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